MANILA, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday approved a policy-based loan worth 200 million U.S. dollars for strengthening Uzbekistan's power sector by improving its financial sustainability and ensuring adequate investment in the critical infrastructure.
The Manila-based multilateral lender said the Power Sector Reform Program will provide budget support and targeted policy actions aimed at restructuring the power sector to enable competition and create a conducive environment for private investment.
The program will also streamline sector oversight to ensure fair and transparent competition and consumer protection, the bank added.
"Reliable and affordable electricity supply is essential for driving economic growth and socio-economic development. As a first of its kind in Uzbekistan's energy sector, this policy-based loan will be critical to support complex reforms and deepen private investment," ADB Energy Specialist Seung Duck Kim said.
By encouraging private sector participation, Kim said the program "will support the government's ultimate objectives of creating jobs and improving the quality of life."
"Clean energy transition will be at the center of reforms to accelerate the development of modern and reliable energy infrastructure that will put greenhouse gas emissions into structural decline," Kim said.
"ADB's program supports these reforms, to increase private sector participation in power generation to at least 15 percent in capacity terms and improve revenue collection to 99 percent by 2023," the ADB said.
The bank said the measures will help boost economy and bring new employment opportunities as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ADB said the program was jointly developed with the French Development Agency, which will provide co-financing of 150 million euros (about 174 million U.S. dollars) in loans.